Have you ever found yourself staring at your phone or laptop, mindlessly checking social media or going down an internet rabbit hole when you’re supposed to be doing something else? So have I. Infinite and immediately available mental stimulation provided by the internet offers in form of information is becoming irresistible. And, according to scientists, I’m not alone. Information addiction is real and is a perfect outlet for procrastination
With instant access to hordes of information, how can any of us expect to get anything done?
The good news is we can learn ourselves out of procrastination the same way we learned ourselves into it - by taking small, consistent actions that offer our brain a reward.
- Accept Reality: You’re going to procrastinate from time to time — you’re only human. Instead of beating yourself up, have self-compassion and recognize there is a time for procrastination before and after your task, but for now, you must focus.
- Temporarily Disconnect from the Internet: Turn off your computer’s Wi-fi and place your phone in another room, with notifications and sound off.
- Be Mindful: Observe your thoughts and emotions. Noticing your thoughts and the emotions around them can help you understand what needs to be done next.
- Prioritize What’s Important: If, while observing, you noticed fear or anxiety around starting (or not finishing) a particular task, pay attention. Use this insight to prioritize.
- Focus on One Thing at a Time: Once you’ve decided where to begin, organize the task into small pieces. Keep your focus on one part of the task at a time to avoid being overwhelmed.
- Jump In: Let go of your expectations and judgments and just BEGIN. Use templates or other shortcuts to help overcome the initial obstacles to productivity.
- Take a (Timed) Break: If you’re getting overwhelmed, do something else for five minutes— – but do not check the internet or your phone.
- CYA: Celebrate Your Accomplishments: When your task is finished, pat yourself on the back; you’ve earned some self-esteem for yourself through your own deeds.
- Don’t Worry About Perfection: Once your task is done, let it go. Accept imperfection, value the effort, and keep moving on to your next task.
Follow these tips and, with repeated effort, you’ll become skilled at being productive when it matters, just like you became skilled at procrastinating!
Get in touch… — JOE’s LIFE SKILLS LAB/Joe Sehrawat
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